Diary

The Left Thinks Thought-Crime is Okay But Can't Control the Consequences

censorship

A generation of liberal indoctrination on campus has led to the widespread acceptance of thought-crime, a monster that says it’s okay to shun those with “unacceptable” views.  Liberals think they can control the monsters they release, but they can’t.

Where does it lead?  Straight to the ovens, Rabbi Shmuley Bioteach warned Friday,

Fortunately, we have not seen an outbreak of violence in the United States as we have in Europe. Nevertheless, the anti-Semitic acts on college campuses are alarming. No one should be surprised, however, given the nationwide campaign to delegitimize Israel by calling on universities to boycott and divest from the Jewish state. The Israel deniers behind these efforts have made clear they do not believe Israel has a right to exist and have cast Jewish students as defenders of Nazi-like abusers of Palestinian rights.

The bolded words ring loud because on college campuses, questioning people’s legitimate right to speak, or even their right to participate in discussion based solely on their worldview is the norm.  In other words, thought-crime is accepted and encouraged.

In fact, the Newseum Institute reported in 2013 that 34% of Americans say the First Amendment “goes too far.”

Higher percentages of young Americans tend to agree with the statement that the First Amendment goes too far in the rights that it guarantees. Forty-seven percent of 18-30-year-olds agree, while 44% of 31-45-year-olds, 24% of 46-60-year-olds and 23% of people over 60 agree that the First Amendment goes too far.

This is pretty damning evidence that young people are being brought up to believe that thought-crime is real, and it’s okay to excoriate people because they support traditional marriage, or the sanctity of life, or Israel.

We’ve dismantled the rights our founders fought to guarantee.

The First Amendment was “first” on the list of the Bill of Rights for a reason.  The freedom of religion, speech and assembly are one freedom, and they weren’t intended to be separated or compartmentalized.

Yet, somehow a “right of privacy” was synthesized from the Constitution, even though it can’t be found in writing.  Louis Brandeis started this trend by advocating a “right to be left alone.”

I have no issue with being left alone—by the government.  But the notion that we all have a “bubble of privacy” around us is simply false.  It turns the negative space where government cannot tread into positive space, where government occupies everything outside the little bubble of privacy we enjoy.

And now the First Amendment is being interpreted to mean “you can have your religion, free speech, and free assembly, as long as it’s inside your bubble,” resulting in heinous and scornful laws like “exclusion zones” around abortion clinics*.

Rowe v. Wade itself spawned from the fallacy of personal privacy.  Now college campuses have created “free speech zones,” and only after endless litigation** do school administrators simply relax the rules, but never cede the power to regulate in the first place.

What’s so wrong with free speech?  During the 1960’s black civil rights era, bigots were very public with their views.  George Wallace favored segregation and he was proud of it***.  There was no mistaking the KKK for a philanthropic organization.  They were opposed and society is better for it.

Today, censorship in all forms is approved and encouraged when a person’s views run counter to the “acceptable.”  This is nothing more than thought-crime.

When Ryan T. Anderson, a noted scholar on marriage and defender of traditional marriage definitions, whose book was cited in a Supreme Court opinion, cannot merely be mentioned in the press without his high school alma mater censoring the article, we are surely on thin ice.

The line between thought-crime and blatant religious and ethnic discrimination disappears when Jews are persecuted for nothing more than being Jews.

Meanwhile, university administrations hide behind “academic freedom,” the veil they have created to justify their refusal to police the academic malpractice taking place within their ivory towers. Their idea of what constitutes freedom of expression, however, is selective. They would not countenance criticism or slurs directed at women or minorities but they defend anti-Israel activities, such as the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign, that are affronts to Jews and, as Harvard President Larry Summers put it, are “anti-Semitic in their effect, if not their intent.”

Anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and anti-conservative speech is considered “free speech” in this toxic society, while the opinions of the targeted groups are simply excluded from discussion.

Shunning people because of their beliefs or origin, along with beliefs that hold elderly, disabled, unborn, and terminally ill lives as less valuable than others, puts America well down the road to declaring some citizens as “persona non-grata.”

And that road leads only one place.

(image credit: Shutterstock)

*The Supreme Court struck down Massachusetts 35-foot exclusion zone around abortion clinics, but left the 6-foot “protective bubble” in place.  Nowhere is the doctrine of a personal bubble more pernicious than when it allows the creation of a permanent injunction which prevents one class of people from interacting with another solely based on their viewpoints—in essence, legal thought-crime.

**The University of Georgia backed down after Alliance Defending Freedom sued on behalf of Young Americans for Liberty.  Instead of having to obtain permission from the school 48 hours in advance, now they only have to use a “reservation system” and notify police if events grow larger than 10 people.  Really? There’s 9, and it’s okay, but one more shows up and you have to call.

***Later, Wallace was a changed man, but it wasn’t the shunning that changed him.  He said he was wrong, but it was God who showed him the error of his ways, not men.  Wallace’s son said of his father, “Eventually, Wallace said his father considered his life’s greatest victory to be not his four terms as governor or the millions of presidential votes he secured around the country, but his faith and relationship with God.”